5 min read

Mobile-Friendly Content on Social Media

Mobile-Friendly Content on Social Media

As of 2023, 99% of social media users, which translates to nearly 4.5 billion individuals, access their preferred social networks via smartphones. Close to 80% of these users rely exclusively on mobile devices.

Neglecting to optimize your social media content for mobile consumption could mean missing out on significant engagement and reach. If your content doesn't resonate with mobile users, it's likely to receive less interaction. When users continually scroll past your content without engaging, it diminishes the chances of your content appearing in their feeds in the future.

Why Mobile First on Social?

Engagement is the key. On platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, content that garners comments and reactions is more likely to be featured in followers' feeds and recommended to non-followers. In essence, well-optimized mobile-friendly content can significantly enhance your social media results.

Your Audience Wants Mobile

While it may seem tempting to view mobile-first content strategies solely through the lens of appeasing algorithms, it is more productive to consider them as a means to reach and engage your target audience effectively. Naturally, your audience is more likely to appreciate content that is easily consumed on their mobile devices.

Planning Social for Text and Creative

When planning social media content, consider optimizing both the text and creative aspects. The following sections will delve into tactics for captions, images, videos, and stories that can be applied across various social media platforms.

#1 Crafting Mobile-Optimized Social Media Captions

To create social media copy that captures the attention of mobile users, it's crucial to make it easily scannable.

Pay Attention to the "See More" Link in Captions

Most social media platforms support lengthy captions, providing ample space for your content. The ideal length of a caption can vary depending on factors such as context, audience, and industry. However, it's important to remember that each social network truncates captions after a specific character count, with the "See More" link appearing at different points.

For instance, on Facebook, the truncation point is at around 140 characters, while on LinkedIn, it's closer to 100 characters. It's worth noting that these character limits reflect the mobile app display, which is often shorter than the desktop version.

One approach to optimizing captions is to keep them as concise as possible, ideally staying within the specified limits. This ensures that users can read the entire caption without clicking on the "See More" link. However, when crafting longer captions, including a hook is crucial before the content gets truncated. This hook gives users a reason to click and read more, thus increasing engagement.

Craft Scannable Captions

For longer captions, focus on making them easily scannable for mobile users. A good rule of thumb is to format captions in a way that they are easy to read quickly. This can be achieved by avoiding large blocks of text and adding line breaks after each sentence or thought. While emojis can add visual interest to posts, they should be used judiciously as they can affect accessibility. Line breaks are often more effective in balancing accessibility and readability.

Create Attention-Grabbing Titles for Mobile Videos

For mobile-optimized videos, titles play a crucial role, especially on platforms like YouTube Shorts where only titles are visible. Titles need to be short, ideally under 100 characters, and should incorporate a hook that quickly summarizes the topic or piques curiosity.

#2: Designing Mobile-First Social Media Images

When optimizing social media images for mobile, focus on creating content that maximizes vertical space and stands out.

Opt for Square or Portrait Aspect Ratios

Traditionally, social media networks recommended landscape aspect ratios for images. However, landscape images, being wider than they are tall, occupy minimal space in the mobile feed. Mobile feeds are optimized for vertical images, making portrait images (1080 x 1350 pixels) a favorable choice as they take up more vertical space and are more likely to grab attention. Square images (1080 x 1080 pixels) also work well for mobile feeds across all social networks.

When choosing between square and portrait, portrait images tend to stand out more due to their greater use of vertical space. However, if you have existing landscape images, it's often easier to crop them into a square image than to create a portrait aspect ratio.

Consider Consistent Sizing for Carousels

Carousels are an excellent way to share multiple images or a mix of images and videos at once. On Instagram, for example, you can include up to 10 images or videos in a single carousel. Whether you opt for square or portrait images, it's essential to maintain a consistent aspect ratio within a carousel to ensure a cohesive viewing experience for mobile users.

Utilize Images Instead of Links

When sharing external resources on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, think about how you present them. When a link is added to a post, most social networks create a link preview that includes the title and featured image of the external page. However, link previews are not always optimized for mobile feeds, often displaying landscape images that don't make the best use of vertical space.

Consider uploading an image directly to the post instead of relying on link previews. You can still include the URL in the caption, but this approach ensures that the image is mobile-friendly and takes full advantage of vertical real estate. Alternatively, test placing URLs in the comments rather than the post itself, as captions with external URLs may have reduced reach.

#3: Tips for Producing Mobile-Optimized Videos

To create social media videos that cater to mobile users, take into account aspect ratios, sound, and on-screen elements.

Prioritize Vertical Videos

Vertical videos are particularly effective for mobile users, as they maximize vertical screen space. However, the optimal aspect ratio can vary depending on the social network:

  • Facebook supports both portrait (4:5) feed videos and vertical (9:16) reels.
  • Instagram publishes all video content as reels, so creating videos in the 9:16 aspect ratio is advisable.
  • LinkedIn supports 9:16 videos, although it may not be the norm on the platform.
  • TikTok publishes all videos in 9:16 format.
  • Twitter, now X, supports both 4:5 and 9:16 videos.

To ensure your video content caters to mobile users on various platforms, creating videos in the 9:16 aspect ratio is a reliable choice.

Include Text Overlays

Text overlays in videos can enhance engagement, especially for viewers who watch without sound. Text provides additional context and can capture attention effectively. When creating 4:5 videos, you may need to add text overlays using a third-party video editing app. However, when producing 9:16 videos for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, you can often add text overlays directly within the app.

Sound and Captions

Sound is crucial for mobile-optimized videos, especially when publishing 9:16 content on platforms with dedicated vertical video feeds. Sound is considered standard for reels, shorts, and TikTok videos, so content without sound might not perform as well.

When creating vertical videos within these native apps, you can easily record voiceovers and add original sound or choose from royalty-free music libraries. If your videos feature dialogue or voiceovers, it's advisable to include subtitles or captions to improve accessibility and understanding.

Incorporate Interactive Elements

Interactive elements can encourage viewers to engage with your videos on select social media platforms. For instance:

  • Instagram offers poll and quiz stickers to gather viewer opinions.
  • Facebook and Instagram feature the "add yours" sticker, inviting viewers to contribute their own content.
  • TikTok includes various interactive features in its platform.
  • Experiment with these elements to gauge their effectiveness with your audience.

#4: Creating Mobile-Optimized Stories

Stories are inherently mobile-friendly, but there are ways to enhance their appeal for mobile users.

Create Stories Directly in Mobile Apps

While creating stories on desktop might align with your workflow, it can limit your ability to optimize content for mobile users. Stories are most effective when they are engaging and interactive. Creating stories directly within mobile apps, such as Instagram, allows you to add native elements like text overlays, emoji sliders, polls, mentions, and link stickers. These elements contribute to a more engaging mobile experience.

When planning stories, consider your audience's preferences and the industry you operate in. Begin with low-effort stickers like emoji sliders and polls and gradually introduce more complex elements like question and "add yours" stickers to determine what resonates best with your followers.

In some cases, scheduling stories using tools like the Business Suite app may be a practical choice, but keep in mind that these tools may have limitations when it comes to adding interactive stickers.

Mobile-Friendly Social Media Content

For modern marketers, crafting mobile-friendly content and media should be a top priority. By implementing the strategies and tips discussed above, you can seamlessly integrate mobile-first content and creatives into your social media content strategy. This approach caters to mobile users' needs and enhances engagement and reach across various social media platforms.

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